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When clients think of ankle injuries, they often immediately think of ankle sprains. These are a common presentation to our podiatry clinic, however there are a number of different conditions that can also affect the ankle and shin.
Ankle and shin injuries can become quite debilitating and cause long term complications if not treated properly. There are a number of muscles that originate in the lower leg and run alongside, in front of or behind the ankle joint to attach into the foot. There are also a large number of ligaments through the ankle joint to help keep it stable and supported.
The shin/lower leg area contains a number of muscles that all have a role to play in the gait cycle. These muscles are the main driving forces to allow you to put one foot in front of the other.
In addition to the ankle joint, there is also a joint called the subtalar joint that sits just below the ankle. Injury to this joint can cause pain throughout the ankle joint itself, as it is often also injured during an ankle sprain. This may also restrict movement through the ankle joint as well.
The ankle joint is what connects the lower leg to the foot and is extremely important throughout the entire gait cycle. It is an area that can greatly affect your ability to walk and can therefore contribute to a range of different conditions throughout the rest of the foot. The ankle moves predominantly in two directions: plantarflexion and dorsiflexion. These movements are crucial for everyday life, as well as ensuring your feet clear the ground when you are walking so that you don’t trip and fall over. Reasons as to why the ankle joint may not be functioning properly include an ankle sprain, tight calves or a tarsal coalition (fusion of bones).
Our podiatrists commonly assess and treat the following conditions: